Element: setPointerCapture() method

The setPointerCapture() method of the Element interface is used to designate a specific element as the capture target of future pointer events. Subsequent events for the pointer will be targeted at the capture element until capture is released (via Element.releasePointerCapture() or the pointerup event is fired).

Note: Pointer capture will cause the target to capture all subsequent pointer events as if they were occurring over the capturing target. Accordingly, pointerover, pointerenter, pointerleave, and pointerout will not fire as long as this capture is set. For touchscreen browsers that allow direct manipulation, an implicit pointer capture will be called on the element when a pointerdown event triggers. The capture can be released manually by calling element.releasePointerCapture on the target element, or it will be implicitly released after a pointerup or pointercancel event.

Note: If you need to move an element in the DOM, then make sure to call setPointerCapture() after DOM movements so that setPointerCapture() will not lose track of it. E.g., if you need to use Element.append() to move an element somewhere else, then make sure to call setPointerCapture() on it only after the call to Element.append().

Overview of pointer capture

Pointer capture allows events for a particular pointer event (PointerEvent) to be re-targeted to a particular element instead of the normal (or hit test) target at a pointer's location. This can be used to ensure that an element continues to receive pointer events even if the pointer device's contact moves off the element (such as by scrolling or panning).





The pointerId of a PointerEvent object.

Return value

None (undefined).


NotFoundError DOMException

Thrown if pointerId does not match any active pointer.


This example sets pointer capture on a <div> when you press down on it. This lets you slide the element horizontally, even when your pointer moves outside of its boundaries.


<div id="slider">SLIDE ME</div>


div {
  width: 140px;
  height: 50px;
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
  background: #fbe;


function beginSliding(e) {
  slider.onpointermove = slide;

function stopSliding(e) {
  slider.onpointermove = null;

function slide(e) {
  slider.style.transform = `translate(${e.clientX - 70}px)`;

const slider = document.getElementById("slider");

slider.onpointerdown = beginSliding;
slider.onpointerup = stopSliding;



Pointer Events
# dom-element-setpointercapture

Browser compatibility

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See also